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When do people retire and why?

Investments, Personal Finance

Posted by Peter Wouters

Jul 27, 2016 1:24:25 PM

Directeur, Planification fiscale et successorale et planification de la retraite, Gestion de patrimoine
Placements Empire Vie

When do people retire_GettyImages-908981892There is no normal retirement date anymore. There is no hard-fast retirement date everyone has to hit. The answer to the question; "when will you retire?" is becoming a very individual decision, and one you need to plan for and periodically stress test to make sure it's still going to work for you. Here's what we do know. 

The average age for retirement is increasing. More and more aging boomers are choosing to work longer; some because they need to; a growing number because they want to. And work is becoming one of a number of activities that is forming part of the evolving definition of that "R" word.

Sure, you can always work longer. A 2014 study found that over ½ of Canadians expected to be working at age 66 (2014 Canadian Retirement Index). The reality is that experience and statistics don’t support that probability. It's another one of those retirement myths I have written about in the past. Working longer is not always an option because staying on the job is not a given. Your job or company may disappear. Your health or that of a loved one may trigger an early retirement for you. Consider the following statistics:

 ~ 1/2

of workers retired earlier than planned.


of retirees had as little as one month or no notice before retiring.


had less than one year to plan the next 30-40 years of their retirement.


of people retire earlier because of health reasons.

 ~ 3/10

of those surveyed said a significant health issue or decline has affected them or a family member in the last year.


of younger boomers have already been a caregiver, are caregivers now or expected to be one in the future.

2014 Canadian Retirement Index

2013 Retirement Myths & Realities Poll
2012 LIMRA Retirement Study


The impact includes:

  • a significant increase in stress levels (50%)
  • significant out-of-pocket expenses (24%)
  • moving or making accommodation changes (18%)
  • reducing the number of paid hours worked (15%)

If you are or become one of these statistics, have you saved enough for what could be a longer retirement? Have you made provisions for what could be a more expensive retirement?